From classic backyard competitions to fun DIY setups, lawn and beach games can be a great way for everyone to spend time together at the cottage. Perfect for families and small groups, the best games offer endless diversion for all ages, even when the weather isn’t ideal for swimming and watersports. Most are quick and easy to set up, and can be packed up and neatly stored away (or brought back to the city) when not in use.
Here are seven fun games to get families and friends together outdoors—and off their phones—during your next Vrbo vacation rental together.
Also called ladder ball or ladder golf, this classic cottage game tests your skill at throwing bolas—two balls connected by a cord—at a wooden or PVC ladder to score points. This game can be played outdoors on grass, sand, or anywhere else you have space at the cottage. Bonus: the ladders are easy to take apart, and most sets come with a bag for convenient storage.
Look for a cottage rental with a large, grassy yard, and you can channel your favourite Bridgerton character by getting together for a game of garden croquet, a classic lawn game where the goal is to use a mallet to send balls through a series of hoops. Similar to pall mall, the game played by the Bridgerton family in the novels and Netflix series, croquet can be played by teams of two or four.
A family-friendly game that could be played on a small deck, grassy yard, or sandy shore, cornhole involves throwing beanbags into the hole of a cornhole board. To make the task more challenging, you just have to move the board farther away from the competitors.
You can buy an affordable plastic lawn bowling set, or splurge for a nicer wooden set, at most big box stores. The main space requirement for the game is a long, flat surface that can serve as your outdoor bowling alley. This could be a lawn, a deck, or even a cottage dock.
If your cottage has an open, flat lawn or beach space, consider a badminton game for two or four players. A portable, foldable badminton net can be set up on grass or sand in less than a minute (making it perfect for hikes to the beach), and you can purchase a simple outdoor set with all the essentials like rackets and shuttlecocks.
Looking for a good workout? Spikeball, or roundnet, is a competitive team game played that’s described by some as a cross between volleyball and foursquare. This active ball-and-net game can be played on the beach or on the grass at the cottage.
Giant board games
Oversized versions of familiar board games like chess, checkers, Jenga, and Connect Four can offer all-day entertainment for both kids and adults. Most are designed to be packable and portable, and can travel well between cottages and the city in between vacations. Set up a few options on the deck, dock, or lawn, and let the games begin!
Looking to make memories with your family at a cottage this season? Find a rental that’s perfect for you with the help of Vrbo.